Sustainable Development Outlook 2021: From anguish to determination

The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed the global awareness that we are all in this together. The pandemic has set back progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but it has also made it possible for the international community to see the pursuit of sustainable development in a new light, and to learn from both successes and challenges of the pandemic to reinvigorate efforts towards achieving the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Outlook 2021 charts a way forward for the world community to achieve the SDGs, despite the setback caused by COVID-19. In doing so, it focuses on SDG 1 (poverty), SDG 2 (hunger), SDG 3 (health and well-being), SDG 8 (growth and employment), SDG 10 (inequality), and their interlinkages. In each case, Sustainable Development Outlook 2021 presents in-depth analyses, based on country case studies and the relevant literature, and uses the findings to present plausible future scenarios under different assumptions.

In charting out the way forward, Sustainable Development Outlook 2021 focuses on policy efforts that are cross-cutting in nature and have positive effects on multiple SDGs. It thus calls for accelerating vaccination by making the COVID-19 vaccine a public good; strengthening access to quality and affordable universal health coverage and social protection; pursuing structural transformation aimed at growth, equity and environmental protection; strengthening international solidarity; sharing the Earth equitably with other species; and making use of the crisis to overcome political barriers to difficult policy changes.

File date: 
Monday, September 20, 2021